11 Substitutes for Gouda Cheese & When to Use Them

Substitutes for Gouda Cheese

As one of the oldest recorded cheeses in the world, dating back to the 12th century, Gouda represents one of the favorite cheeses in many households. This is why I have listed some cheeses you could also use as excellent replacements for this fantastic cheese. So, what are the substitutes for Gouda cheese?

Some great substitutes for Gouda cheese include Edam, Cheddar, Muenster Cheese, Monterey Jack, Havarti, Gruyere, Colby, Swiss Emmental, and some vegan versions like Cashew Cheese, Tofu, and Almond Cheese.

More often than not, we wish or have to substitute one cheese for another, but we are not sure which one will give us that same taste and texture. Therefore, in the following text, I will list some fantastic substitutes for everyone’s favorite Gouda and discuss when to use each of them. So, let’s begin, shall we?

List of Gouda Substitutes

Gouda is a wax-rind matured semi-hard cheese from the Netherlands. Its origins can be traced back to the town of the same name in the 12th century. Regarding taste and the aging process, this delicately-flavored cheese bears a slightly nutty note, which makes it suitable for pairing with toffee or dark chocolate. 

This cheese is usually made from pasteurized cow’s milk and should be aged 1 to 20 months, which affects texture and flavor. 

Rumor has it farmers used to wrap this cheese in their recognizable yellow wax to protect it from birds while traveling to and from the market. This yellow wax actually helps in keeping the moisture inside and prevents the cheese from drying out. 

Because the cheese is high in fat, it melts and grills excellently.

Now that we have determined the flavor and use of Gouda, let’s take a look at what other cheeses can serve as a decent substitute for it in some situations:

Edam

Edam is a frequent and popular substitute for Gouda for several reasons, including texture, milder flavor, and smaller price.

As with Gouda, Edam also has a semi-hard texture, and its flavor varies depending on how long it matures. This Dutch cheese also has a relatively low-fat content compared to other semi-hard and hard cheeses.

Due to its good melting properties, it is an excellent choice for making potato dishes or creamy pasta, while its semi-hard texture also makes it suitable for grilled cheese sandwiches.

With its nutty tones, Edam pairs well with apples and pears, bread and crackers, or white wines, as is the case with Gouda.

Cheddar

Cheddar cheese is also believed to be dating from the 12th century, originating from the West Country, England.

This cheese is also made from cow’s milk, and while a young version may have a mild taste, its taste also intensifies with age. It features a harder texture and a slightly stronger flavor than Gouda. 

This cheese also shares Gouda’s nutty flavor; however, it is only a suitable substitute in some cases. Since it boasts a higher fat content than Gouda, Cheddar makes an excellent melting and grilling cheese.

Cheddar cheese is best suited for grilled cheese sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, and cheeseburgers. Gouda is better suited to recipes where it can be eaten in slices or chunks, including salads and cheese boards.

Muenster 

This is an American semi-soft cheese made from cow’s milk. Just like with Gouda’s, Muenster’s flavor intensifies with maturation. The cheese boasts a mild nutty flavor but also higher energy and fat density than Gouda, which makes it an excellent choice for melting. 

Muenster can be used in macaroni and cheese, pizza, toasted sandwiches, cheeseburgers, and grilled cheese dishes. 

However, since it develops a strong, pungent aroma when aged, it is usually sold as a young cheese. 

Monterey Jack

Another cheese coming from the USA, Monterey Jack, is a native Californian cheese that serves as an excellent replacement for Gouda in many recipes. However, it features a milder flavor.

Since it is also a bit softer, it melts more quickly. So, if you are more into cheeses with sharp flavors, go ahead and use another substitute.

Due to its creamy, compact, and firm texture, it can be used in sandwiches or with some bread or crackers. It can also be paired with Pinot Noir and other types of wine that pair well with Gouda. 

Substitutes for Gouda Cheese

Havarti

Also known as Tilsit, this is a semi-soft Danish cheese with a very similar texture and taste to Gouda. What’s more, this cheese is lower in calories and fat, making it a healthier version, but also a bit pricier than Gouda.

Its creamy texture is rich and buttery, while its taste is sharp and spicy. You can also try several varieties infused with various herbs and spices, including garlic, basil, dill, and more. 

Regarding its use, Havarti is an excellent table cheese because it pairs well with some fruits and wines, as well as olives, bread, and crackers. 

Gruyere

This alternative is harder than Gouda and features a more complex flavor. It is also a cow’s milk cheese with a similar appearance to Gouda, but a bit saltier, meaning you should be careful when using it as a replacement for Gouda and adjust the seasoning.

This Swiss-type cheese also varies in taste as it matures, starting to taste nutty and creamy and developing a more assertive, earthy flavor. In addition, due to the high-fat content, it also melts more evenly.

Gruyere is an excellent choice for fondues, salads, soups, stews, pasta dishes, white wines, and ciders.

American Colby

This is another American cow’s milk cheese whose production process bears the one of Monterey Jack. The difference between the two is that Colby has a nutty and slightly sweet flavor due to the added annatto.

Besides, depending on the amount of annatto, the cheese ranges from light orange to bright orange, the latter’s flavor being closer to Gouda.

Colby melts well and is also a good choice for granting and slicing. In all cases, it is a good Gouda substitute.

It is an excellent choice for crackers, sandwiches, mac and cheese, burgers, cooked dishes, casseroles, and fruits. 

Swiss Emmental

This is a slightly softer cheese than Gouda, featuring a similar texture and sharp and nutty flavor and texture. However, Emmental has a somewhat stronger taste than Gouda.

Swiss Emmental comes from the same region as Gruyere, which is very similar in flavor. 

This cheese melts incredibly well when heated, so it is often used for making fondues. Other uses include casseroles, salads, and egg dishes. 

Cashew Cheese

If you are looking for a vegan substitute for Gouda, then Cashew cheese is one of three excellent choices. Or, if you just need a healthier cheese, Cashew cheese is cholesterol-free and packed with nutrients from Cashews, which definitely makes it healthier than Gouda. [1]

What’s more, it represents one of the best Gouda replacements because of its mild flavor and creamy texture, while it is a bit softer and lighter in color.

While you can use it as a replacement for Gouda in most cases, this cheese doesn’t melt well, so avoid dishes requiring melted cheese. 

Tofu

While Tofu is a popular option for meat replacement, it is also a fantastic substitute for Gouda, or many other kinds of cheese, in numerous recipes. This vegan option has a neutral taste, so add seasoning to adjust the taste. 

Because of this, Tofu can be used in sweet and savory recipes. When trying out the first option, you can opt for shredded Tofu in baking recipes, while for savory dishes, try cubing it and adding it to soups r stir-fries.

So, even though you shouldn’t expect the same flavor, Tofu will provide a similar creaminess to Gouda. Like Cashew cheese, Tofu is also healthier because it is rich in protein and calcium, among other reasons. [2]

Almond Cheese

Similar in flavor and texture to Gauda, Almond cheese is another suitable replacement for this delicious Dutch cheese.

Naturally, almond cheese is also lower in fat and calories and is dairy-free, making it suitable for those trying to take care of their health or dealing with lactose intolerance or allergies.

While it has a defined nutty taste, it is lighter in texture than Gouda. Note that because it is lower in fat, Almond cheese melts more quickly than Gouda. Avoid using it in recipes that require a smooth texture, while you can eat it with sandwiches, salads, or a glass of white wine.

  • Laura is the owner of Julie's Cafe Bakery. She started this blog with her grandma Julie who introduced her to the amazing world of cooking. She likes to experiment with different flavors, and her favorite flavors combo is chicken with coconut milk, curry and peanuts!